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torah commentary
When you’re here, you’re family
Parashat Emor Leviticus 21:1-24:23 Since Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other, the hemorrhaging of the number of diaspora Jews actively involved in Jewish life — or even ide...
May 11, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend
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After death — holiness
Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim Leviticus 16:1-20:27 “Would you like to identify the body?” The question struck me as more than strange. I was a new young rabbi, but knowledgeable enough about Jewish ...
May 04, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend
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It is up to us to stay morally vigilant
Parashat Tazria-Metzora, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 In this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Tazria, we read about tzaraat, commonly mistranslated “leprosy.” This was a miraculous skin eruption that would o...
Apr 27, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend
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Nothing to fear but fear itself
Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 This week we read the portion of Shemini, in which the Mishkan, the Tabernacle for the Almighty, is inaugurated and Aaron the High Priest leads the service for...
Apr 20, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend
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Silence is more than golden
Chol Hamoed, Pesach: Exodus 33:12 - 34:26, Numbers 28:19-25 The last days of the festival of Passover are dedicated to the splitting of the Reed Sea, one of the most dramatic and cataclysmic events...
Apr 19, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend
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With Elijah’s help, do it for the children
Parshat Tzav, Shabbat HaGadol, Leviticus 6:1-8:36 The Shabbat before Passover is called Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Sabbath), a phrase deriving from the last verse of the prophetic portion read on t...
Apr 05, 2017 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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Archives
The importance of memory, especially to our history
by Cantor Michal Gray-Schaffer
Jul 06, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 276 276 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshaht Korach, Numbers 16:1-18:32 In this week’s Torah portion, a rebellion breaks out against Moses’ leadership, led by the Levite Korach, Reubenites Dathan and Abiram and 250 chieftains of the ...
When the minority gets it right
by Rabbi Moishe Mayir Vogel
Jun 30, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 277 277 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Shelach Numbers, 13:1-15:41 This week’s Torah portion is Shelach, the story of the 12 spies, sent by Moses to explore and learn more about the Promised Land — this land G-d had promised our...
The power — and importance — of words
by Rabbi Yaier Lehrer
Jun 23, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 286 286 recommendations | email to a friend
Aaron and Miriam are speaking to each other. They criticize their brother for having married a Kushite woman.  God becomes angry at their speech and calls them to the Tent of Meeting. He chastises ...
The power of uplift, to make a day brighter
by Rabbi Elchonon Friedman
Jun 15, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 287 287 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Nasso, Numbers 4:21-7:89 A few weeks ago at a shiva home, I heard a bereaved mother speak lovingly of her beloved daughter, Rivka. She related how, until Rivka’s funeral, she hadn’t fully a...
Look into the eyes
by Rabbi Ron Symons
Jun 08, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 284 284 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bamidbar, Numbers 1:1-4:20 It was quite an endeavor. Moses was commanded to count every male of Israel over the age of 20 who was able to serve in the army. He was some 82 years old and rec...
A lesson in the importance of connection
by Rabbi Shimon Silver
Jun 02, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 290 290 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Bechukotai, Leviticus 26:3-27:34 The primary focus of the first half of this parsha is the connection between observing the Torah and meriting peace and tranquility in Israel. Or, G-d forbi...
Tending to the ‘invisible’ wound
by Rabbi Aaron Bisno
May 25, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 287 287 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Behar, Leviticus 25:1-26:2 There is a new hashtag trending on social media.   The tag is #maybehedoesnthityou , and it offers women a chance to share their experience with domestic violence...
The importance of the counting of the Omer
by Rabbi Daniel Yolkut
May 18, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 281 281 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21:1-24:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Emor, we encounter a timely mitzvah — the counting of the Omer. The Torah commands that starting with the second day of Passover, ev...
Ascending to holiness
by Rabbi James A. Gibson
May 11, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 268 268 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Kedoshim, Leviticus 19:1-20:27 So, just how do we do it? We are given a direct order in the very beginning of our parshah, kedoshim tihiyu, ki kadosh ani — “you shall be holy for I (your Go...
Be a brother
by Rabbi Daniel Wasserman
May 05, 2016 | 0 0 comments | 281 281 recommendations | email to a friend
Parshat Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30 On the day that Aharon HaKohen —Aaron the High Priest — was to celebrate the ascension of himself and his family to the priesthood, he suffered what was pe...